2010 Second year program at Richard Underwood Nature Refuge

    Since the reintroduction of the five wombats from Epping Forest National Park (Scientific) (EFNP) to the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge (RUNR), conservation officers have collected considerable footage from active IR cameras that monitored the population. These cameras show the wombats were displaying typical wombat behaviour. What was also interesting, but not as pleasing, was the level of aggression displayed by the largest wombat to the others. In addition to establishing new social boundaries, wombats were also tested with extreme weather conditions: down to minus five degrees when the wombats were moved in winter, over 40 degrees in the heat of summer and then the largest recorded flood at nearby St George.

    Unfortunately, two male wombats were found deceased on the property after their release. Autopsies were conducted on the deceased wombats, but the results were inconclusive, though it appeared both had died rapidly.

    Nine months since the reintroduction, the three wombats remaining in the population had settled in well and were thriving in their new environment.

    F167 collared and ready for transport Photo: Queensland Government

    F167 collared and ready for transport Photo: Queensland Government

    Boosting the population at Richard Underwood Nature Reserve 2010

    Trapping at Epping Forest National Park targeted the previously collared wombats that had evaded trapping in 2009. Any additional wombats trapped, that were suitable for translocation, were also moved to Richard Underwood Nature Refuge.

    During the 2010 trapping sessions, 10 wombats were deemed suitable for translocation, with an additional male and nine females joining the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge population.

    Trapping 2010
    Date trappedWombat IDAgePreviously trappedCondition (out of 5)Translocated to RUNR
    16/04/2010M126JuvenileNo3No
    17/04/2010F169AdultNo4Yes
    21/04/2010F167AdultYes4Yes (2009)*
    22/04/2010F170AdultNo4Yes
    23/04/2010F157Adult with PYYes4.5No
    8/08/2010F171AdultNo4Yes
    8/08/2010F172AdultNo4Yes
    15/08/2010M127AdultNo4Yes
    16/08/2010F173AdultNo4Yes
    17/08/2010F175AdultNo3Yes
    18/08/2010M128AdultNo4Yes
    14/08/2018F174AdultNo4.5Yes*

    *Indicates individuals fitted with radio tracking collars.

    When wombat F157 was trapped, she was found to be carrying a pouch young and therefore was unsuitable for translocation. It was great to see recruitment in the EFNP population. The joey was about 50mm long but it was not possible to determine the sex.

    The small pink pouch young of F157 Photo: Queensland Government

    The small pink pouch young of F157 Photo: Queensland Government

    Taking measurements of M127 before transport Photo: Queensland Government

    Taking measurements of M127 before transport Photo: Queensland Government

    M127 placed into transport crate for flight Photo: Queensland Govenment

    M127 placed into transport crate for flight Photo: Queensland Govenment

    These trapping sessions marked the end of trapping for 2010; the population of northern hairy-nosed wombats at Richard Underwood Nature Refuge was now 15 (6 males and 9 females).